In the 1950’s, the Hollywood producer, William Castle, became so frustrated by the lack of PR ingenuity and the general disinterest from publicists to plug his movies, that he started to concoct his own publicity stunts.
His 1958 movie “Macabre” starring William Prince and Jim Backus received the familiar, “don’t ring us, we’ll ring you”, so Castle decided to publicise it himself. He took out a Lloyds Insurance Policy, insuring all ticket holders against death by fright. The premiere was held in Indianapolis and Castle arrived in a coffin which was carried by a hearse.
The movie theatre was packed and the film was later give the tag line… “The greatest showmanship in a decade… backed by a sensational ticket-selling campaign”. It proved an amazing publicity stunt, but sadly William Castle’s exploits have long been forgotten.